The Highland council area is Scotland's largest and most thinly populated region (with only 9 inhab./km˛). It covers the greatest part of the Scottish Highlands.
Highland's administrative centre is Inverness (pop. 60,000), where over a quarter of the region's inhabitants live. It is one of the best ranked British cities for its quality of life, and is also one of Europe's fastest growing cities.
The Highlands are renowned for their dramatic natural scenery, in particular for the wild and rugged mountains such as Ben Nevis and Glen Coe.
Scotland's most famous lake, Loch Ness, is the backbone of the Highlands, running over 37 km (23 mi) southwest of Inverness. Superbly sighted at the junction of Loch Duich, Loch Long and Loch Alsh, the medieval castle of Eilean Donan is one of Scotland's most picturesque spots. Another familiar Highland scene is the Glenfinnan Viaduct, which featured, among others, in the Harry Potter film series.